What is Rotary?

Rotary International is the world’s first service club. Founded by Paul Harris more than 100 years ago, Rotary’s membership now exceeds 1.2 million people.  There are more than 35,000 clubs in over 200 geographical regions worldwide.  The men and women of the  Montgomery/Rocky Hill Rotary Club are your friends, neighbors and business associates.

Rotarians have embraced the organization’s motto, “Service Above Self,” represent a cross section of all types of businesses, vocations and professions. Rotary’s goals are to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and foster peace in the world.

Through generous volunteer efforts, Rotarians work to improve the lives of members of communities in their hometowns, in their nation and overseas by providing disaster relief, promoting clean water projects, eradicating polio and other diseases, combating hunger, offering job training, and supporting educational and literacy programs.


The name “Rotary” came from the practice of the early clubs of “rotating” their meetings from business-to-business each week. Rotary’s gearwheel symbolizes the name and represents the “meshing” of Rotary with other organizations for useful purpose. Rotary works to bring together people of all races, faiths and political views. Originally, membership  was restricted so that there was only one representative for each business or profession to ensure a wide representation for community projects.  While that restriction no longer exists in Rotary today, there are guidelines in place to insure that a club's membership respresent a diversity of business interest within the community.

Rotarians are members of their clubs and the clubs are members of the global association known as Rotary International. Clubs are grouped into Rotary districts, each led by a district governor who is an officer of Rotary International and represents the RI board of directors in the field.

The Rotary Four-Way Test is an ethical guide for Rotarians to use in their professional and personal relationships. 

Of the things we think, say or do:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?